Initialize, Catalyze, Necrotize


alison_icon.gif arthur_icon.gif jenn_icon.gif mason_icon.gif maury_icon.gif zimmerman_icon.gif

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Scene Title Initialize, Catalyze, Necrotize
Synopsis With both halves of the formula in hand, Arthur prepares his first super-soldier for the field…
Date June 14, 2009

Pinehearst Headquarters, Basement Level 3

«BP is one-twenty over eighty.»

Machines monitor the heart-rate, blood pressure and brain waves of a young man laying on an angled examination table, surrounded by the flickering lights of these instruments, with electrodes taped to his chest, forehead and arms. Laying shirtless on the table, a young man stares upward at the halo of lights shining down on him, then looks to the side, where the dark-haired doctor stands at the bedside, reviewing information on a clip-board.

«Brainwaves are reading normal.»

Focusing his vision past doctor Alison Meier, his blue eyes peer at ghostly silhouettes behind tinted glass, watching from the observation room of the operating theater. From their perspective, the man on the table looks pleading in his prostrate position, at the mercy of the young doctor. "I should be in there with her," one of the silhouettes states, turning to regard the man next to him. As Lewis Zimmerman's gaze falls on Arthur Petrelli, he is not even considered, nor is his request.

A twinge of pain from Zimmerman's midsection causes the old man to hunch forward, bracing himself on the railing near the window. At his other side, the dark-haired figure of Jennifer Chesterfield reaches out to lay a comforting hand — her only good hand — on the man's shoulder. She says nothing, and though the reassurance of her weak smile is minimal, something is better than nothing.

«Initializing synthesis process.»

Once more, Alison's voice comes over the speakers in the observation room, and the people gathered within watch silently as a tall glass cylinder in the operating theater begins to fill with a chromatic red fluid, ranging in shades from bright vermilion to rich, deep crimson. A pneumatic hiss accompanies the filling of the tall cylinder, which imparts two separate chemicals together to form this multi-hued blend.

«Initialization complete. Mister Petrelli, if you could?»

Alison turns her focus back to the window, and Arthur steps away from the gathering, even as the door to the theater is opening, bringing Mason Chesterfield and the far wider figure of Maury Parkman into the room. Arthur passes by them on the way down a short flight of stairs, wordlessly making his way into the operating theater.

"How it going?" Mason quietly asks, giving a side-long look to Zimmerman on his way over to Jenn. His wife inclines her head into an uncertain nod in the direction of the theater, removing her hand from Zimmerman's shoulder, the other one folded up against her side in a sling. "That good, hm?"

"Meier's just finished the initialization process, Arthur's headed in to catalyze the serum." There's an uncertain quality to Jenn's tone of voice as she looks back to the window, favoring one shoulder from her injury sustained during Gabriel's escape. "Presumably, if all goes well, he's going to lift the radio-silence we've been forced into. I'm— we should both talk to Catherine after this is all done."

Those words elicit a look from Maury, one both sorrowful and sympathetic, his brows creasing together as he lowers his head, exhaling a heavy sigh. Neither Mason nor Jennifer realize what has happened to their daughter, and the likely future they have following the development of the Formula is a brief one.

Folding his arms across his chest, Mason lifts up his glasses and massages at the bridge of his nose with one hand. Something isn't setting right with Mason, and the throbbing sensation at the back of his head is getting worse, even as he begins to look up at the formula now combined from its separate components into a swirling red fluid. His gaze diverts to the door to the operating theater as Arthur emerges, walking over to the glass cylinder, resting his hands on the sides as his eyes close.

Silence drops over the observation room as an ethereal pinkish-white light floods from Arthur's hands, ghostly tendrils of radiance suffusing the organic compound, bombarded with quick lightning-like flashes within the hazy smoke-like clouds of energy emitting from his palms. Arthur's jaw sets, his head tilts back, and one brow raises as the chemical begins to boil at the exposure of the energy. "I still can't believe," Mason murmurs, "after all this time, Ishi's legacy still…" he cuts himself off, looking down at the ground as his hand moves away from his nose, and glasses come to rest across the bridge where fingers once were.

As the formula is catalyzed and emits a light pulse in return, Arthur lowers his hands and turns to Alison, nodding his head to her. Doctor Meier's eyes never deviated from the act, from the injection of whatever arcane secrets Arthur has kept behind his eyes into the compound that would mean the life of Alison Meier, and ultimately Lewis Zimmerman as well.

Alison withdraws an empty syringe from the tray at the examination table's side, and moves over to the cylinder, injecting the syringe into a small tube, and withdrawing a full vial of the chemical into the needle. «Seven seventeen PM, Sunday, June Fourteenth, Two-thousand and nine.» Alison's voice crackles over the speaker to begin the recording of the proceedings. «Batch twenty-four of the SES has been catalyzed. Proceeding to administer to patient sixteen, Trent Daselles.»

Bringing the syringe over to the table, a lab assistant has prepared and swabbed Trent's bared forearm. Nearby, Arthur watches on intently as doctor Meier administers the injection, a single, simple depression of the needle into a plump vein, plunged sinking down as crimson fluid is brought to bear on the bloodstream.

Tensing at the injection, Trent's brows furrow, followed by a sudden and sharp inhalation through his nose. His arms and legs buck, struggling at the restraints that hold them fast to the bed, an involuntary reaction familiar to all concerned in the room — Meier from her own experiments, and the others from those done decades prior.

"I can't believe this is all happening again," Zimmerman murmurs, eliciting an askance look from Maury. But despite the wary look of the senior Parkman, Zimmerman does not — can not find himself intimidated. Coursing through his veins right now, Alison Meier's retrovirus eats away at his organs. He has little choice, little recourse if he wishes to live, but to see the Formula completed. But in his heart, he knows he would rather die than see it through.

Perhaps Maury saw that.

Perhaps not.

It's the sudden spike of heart-rate and brainwaves that causes the machines monitoring Trent's vitals to beep loudly and alarmingly. Both Mason and Jennifer immediately move closer to the windows, while Alison scrambles to examine the results. Trent's jaws clench, his fingers curl and back arches as a pained groan escapes his lips. In the observation room, Jennifer begins to look horrified, and when she turns to regard Mason, he's not where she last saw him, instead he's rushed to the intercom.

"Arthur!" Too long, too late. "Arthur! You have to do something! The reaction, it— " Mason's words are cut off as a wildly uncontrolable telekinetic expulsion sends Alison flying across the room, shattering the glass window as she strikes it with her back. Mason staggers away from the suddenly impact and spiderwebbed glass, mouth hanging open in disbelief. Arthur turns, looking wide-eyed at Trent as the young man bucks on the table again, and the machines monitoring him begin to buckle and bend inward, creaking and groaning loudly as a pained cry slips past his lips.

"God, someone get in there! Jennifer! You— you have to do something!" Mason's words come ringing in Jennifer's ears, and she realizes all too late the difference her ability could make as black spots begin to appear on Trent's skin. The lesions form quickly, and Arthur backs away to the far side of the operating theater, one hand covering his mouth from the horrific stench that comes from the lesions' appearance.

Trent's voice turns into a gurgled scream as his lips peel back away from his mouth, revealing bared and white teeth in an inhuman snarl, skin pulling away from fingernails as flesh around the black lesions begins to yellow, then brown, and then blister away as if under some intense heat. Soon, the dark spots begin to grow wider, taking on a deep forest-green color on their edges, revealing moistened muscle slick with a foul-smelling fluid beneath, muscle that begins to slough off of Trent's bones like boiled chicken.

Jenn covers her mouth, letting out a horrified shriek as she turns to bury her face in Mason's shoulder. Maury's eyes grow wide in disbelief, watching Trent fall back against the cot, his limbs separating in a horribly gruesome manner as ligaments and muscle soften and decay in rapid necrosis. His head tilts back, jaw opening from the tightening of tendons, as a rasping gurgle is the last sound the double-agent ever makes before he falls limp to the bed, the rapid-fre beeping of the EKG soon becoming nothing more than a single, monotone squeal.

"Oh, God." Jennifer breathes out, as Mason wraps an arm around her shoulders, resting another hand on the back of her head, preventing her from turning even if she wanted to. There's no reason she — or anyone else — should have to see that. Maury turns away from the window, finally, only to move to the intercom and press a button there so Arthur can hear him.

"Sir?" It's more to shake Arthur from the stupor, from the horribly abject look of disbelief that has crossed his face. Arthur's composure comes back, brows creasing together as his eyes turns to regard Maury, then the lab assistant who is checking Alison's prone and whimpering form.

All Arthur does is breathe in deeply, and speak out one simple order. "Everyone get back to work," his eyes divert to Trent Daselles necrotic husk, "I want an answer for what just happened."


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